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Help. I have a lot of water coming out of two radiators before they get hot

fjs
fjs Member Posts: 4
I live in a 1890 Victorian home in New York with a single pipe steam system. I never had a problem with it until this year. A pipe broke at the bottom of the boiler and water poured out continuously for a few hours until it was noticed. This was in the very beginning of the heating season. I believe this was the drain pipe. It was fixed and since then two radiators on the first floor of my three story home have been throwing water out of the vent before they get hot. I need to keep roasting pans under the vents. I bought and read Danss book and I have had two servicemen in. One put stop leak into the system which I now know was very bad. I had to change many vents and in addition my self feed no longer works and I have to continually manually feed . I should mention that the pressure is under a pound or just at a pound. I am a 60 year old woman trying to figure this out and the little bit I know I got from Dan's book.

Comments

  • Captain Who
    Captain Who Member Posts: 452
    Are you hearing boiling sounds in the radiators whose vents are spitting water? What kind of vents are at those locations? Varivalves are worse than some vents when it comes to spitting because they don't have a float. It sounds like the plumber may have done something to disturb the flow of condensate back to the boiler. Examine it with an eye towards that.
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,471
    During the repair it sounds like some of the piping had it's slope changed. With single pipe steam it's important to have all the piping sloped so water can find it's way back to the boiler.

    If you have to feed water more than once every month or two you have to find out where that water is going. Too much fresh water will destroy the boiler, how old is your boiler? Cn you post pictures of the boiler and the piping around it?

    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,576
    This could be a cleaning issue. Perhaps the pipe work has introduced a lot of oil into the water, which needs to be skimmed off. Additives in the boiler water are probably not helping either.
    Congratulations on doing your homework, and reading up on these systems!
    As said, pictures are worth a thousand words each.--NBC
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,692
    +1 on the pictures. Pictures of the boiler, and piping and the radiator as well. Also with the boiler pictures try and show us what pipes were replaced. Do you plan on doing any work yourself? Are you just trying to get information so you can monitor a contractor do do things correctly? Have you tried the "Find A Contractor" link on this site? I believe there are several good steam contractors servicing in and around NY on this site.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,542
    Sounds like the broken pipe was on a wet return and pitch shouldn't be an issue (unless they got above the Normal water line) My guess is the boiler needs to be skimmed as a result of the new piping. As has been said, pictures of the boiler area, especially the new piping would be very helpful.
  • fjs
    fjs Member Posts: 4
    I will send some pictures and I really appreciate the help. I can't do any difficult work myself and would love to find a knowledgable contractor. I did change the vents myself and put heat timer vari valves on. There is a gurgling coming from the radiators and it sounds like a tea kettle boiling at times. I will post pictures of the system tonight. Again I thank you all. And as an aside all the other radiators ,about 8 others, are fine. I am adding a little water almost every day but remember that the one radiator spills a good quart or two.
  • Captain Who
    Captain Who Member Posts: 452
    Could be a problem with wet steam due to the work that was done in combination with a pre-existing condition in the problematic radiators where there is insufficient pitch on the radiators and/or runners, sagging pipes, sediment buildup in the rad and/or a sag in the pipe, too small pipe diameter, partially blocked supply valve to the radiator, or all of the above.
  • Abracadabra
    Abracadabra Member Posts: 1,948

    This could be a cleaning issue. Perhaps the pipe work has introduced a lot of oil into the water, which needs to be skimmed off. Additives in the boiler water are probably not helping either.
    Congratulations on doing your homework, and reading up on these systems!
    As said, pictures are worth a thousand words each.--NBC

    i'm with NBC on this one. Skim the boiler.

  • Captain Who
    Captain Who Member Posts: 452
    Me too. Oily contaminated water makes wet steam and if there was a marginal condition already with some radiators pitch, etc.. that will only aggravate that.
  • fjs
    fjs Member Posts: 4
    Thank you for all of the help. Here is a picture of my system.
  • fjs
    fjs Member Posts: 4
    I forgot to mention that the pipe with the blue knob by the bucket is the one that originally broke.
  • Captain Who
    Captain Who Member Posts: 452
    edited January 2015
    Do you know what particular product they put in.........the "stop leak" is what I'm referring to? Could be causing a wet steam condition and aggravating a possible pre-existing condition as I said previously.

    It might not be a bad idea to try draining the boiler and refilling, preferably with hot water from water heater, and use Steammaster tablets as a water treatment. Then if you have a surging waterline in the sightglass you could go on to skimming.